- Between their late 20s and early 40s.
- Have at least one child.
- Have a family history of depression.
- Have a past history of postpartum depression or a mood disorder.
- Feeling tired.
- Having trouble sleeping.
- Disinterest in daily activities and relationships.
- Breast swelling and tenderness.
- Upset stomach, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea.
- Headache or backache.
- Appetite changes or food cravings.
- Joint or muscle pain.
- Trouble concentrating or remembering.
- Tension, irritability, mood swings, or crying spells.
- Anxiety or depression
- Regular meals and snacks containing starchy carbohydrate. Avoid leaving longer than about 3 hours without something to eat - just a piece of fruit will be sufficient between meals to top up the blood sugar slowly and prevent you from getting too hungry between meals.
- Try to reduce the quantity of high sugar, highly processed carbohydrate foods you eat eg, sweets, sweet biscuits & cakes, sugary drinks.
- Wholegrain breakfast cereals like porridge, wheatflakes, bran flakes, shredded wheat or mueslis. Wholemeal or granary bread/rolls/toast/crackers/pittas or muffins. Brown rice, Basmati rice, pasta, pasta or rice salads (low fat dressings) jacket potatoes, sweet potatoes, new potatoes. Fruit and vegetables generally, and nuts in small amounts.
- Try to reduce your salt intake (rather than your fluid intake) particularly at the pre-menstrual time. Around 75% of salt we eat is hidden in our foods, those having the highest amounts include: take-away and processed foods, tinned soups, tinned vegetables, salted meats (bacon, ham, corned beef), savoury snacks (crisps etc) and ready meals. For general health, particularly heart health, it is a good idea to reduce salt in the diet generally.
- Some studies have suggested that consumption of caffeine is strongly related to PMS symptoms whereas others suggest less of a relationship. It might be worth trying to reduce caffeine over a 3-4 month period and see if this does improve symptoms; try decaffeinated drinks, herbal drinks, more water and less cola and chocolate.
- Exercise regularly.
- Get enough sleep. Try to get 8 hours of sleep each night.
- Take a multivitamin every day that includes folic acid. A calcium supplement with vitamin D can help keep bones strong and may help ease some PMS symptoms.
- Other supplements may include: Magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin E, isoflavones, and evening primrose oil. Side effects positive.
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